Visual Basic programming often involves manipulation of all sorts of data. Among them, some can be calculated while others are in the form of text, date, time and more. Visual Basic 2012 divides data into different types so that it is easier for the programmers to manage them.
6.1 Visual Basic 2012 Data Types
Visual Basic 2012 classifies the aforementioned information into two major data types, they are the numeric data type and the non-numeric data type.
6.1.1 Numeric Data Types
Numeric data types are types of data that consist of numbers that can be computed mathematically. Examples of numeric data types are examination marks, height, weight, the price of goods, monthly bills, fees and etc.
6.1.2 Non-numeric Data Types
Non-numeric data types are data that cannot be manipulated mathematically using standard arithmetic operators. The non-numeric data comprises text or string data types, the Date data types, the Boolean data types that store only two values (true or false), Object data type and Variant data type.They are summarized in Table 6.2
6.1.3 Suffixes for Literals
Literals are values that you assign to a data. In some cases, we need to add a suffix behind a literal so that Visual Basic 2012 can handle the calculation more accurately. For example, we can use num=1.3089# for a Double type data. Some of the suffixes are displayed in Table 6.3.
In addition, we need to enclose string literals within two quotations and we enclose date and time literals within two # sign. Strings can contain any characters, including numbers. The following are few examples:
memberName="Turban, John." TelNumber="1800-900-888-777" LastDay=#31-Dec-00# ExpTime=#12:00 am#
6.2 Managing Variables
Variables are like mailboxes in the post office. The contents of the variables change every now and then, just like the mailboxes. In term of Visual Basic 2012, variables are areas allocated by the computer memory to hold data. Like the mailboxes, each variable must be given a name. To name a variable in Visual Basic 2012, you have to follow a set of rules.
6.2.1 Variable Names
The following are the rules when naming the variables in Visual Basic 2012
6.2.2 Declaring Variables
In Visual Basic 2012, one needs to declare the variables before using them by assigning names and data types. If you fail to do so, the program will show an error. They are normally declared in the general section of the codes’ windows using the Dim statement.
The syntax is as follows:
Dim Variable Name As Data Type
Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load Dim password As String Dim yourName As String Dim firstnum As Integer Dim secondnum As Integer Dim total As Integer Dim doDate As Date End Sub
You may also combine them in one line, separating each variable with a comma, as follows:
Dim password As String, yourName As String, firstnum As Integer,.............
For string declaration, there are two possible forms, one for the variable-length string and another for the fixed-length string. For the variable-length string, just use the same syntax as example 6.1 above. However, for the fixed-length string, you have to use the syntax as shown below:
Dim VariableName as String * n, where n defines the number of characters the string can hold.
Dim yourName as String * 10
yourName can hold no more than 10 Characters.
6.2.3 Assigning Values to Variables
After declaring various variables using the Dim statements, we can assign values to those variables. The syntax of an assignment is
The variable can be a declared variable or a control property value. The expression could be a mathematical expression, a number, a string, a Boolean value (true or false) and etc. The following are some examples:
firstNumber=100 secondNumber=firstNumber-99 userName="John Lyan" userpass.Text = password Label1.Visible = True Command1.Visible = false Label4.Caption = textbox1.Text ThirdNumber = Val(usernum1.Text) total = firstNumber + secondNumber+ThirdNumber
Constants are different from variables in the sense that their values do not change during the running of the program.
6.3.1 Declaring a Constant
The syntax to declare a constant is
Const Constant Name As Data Type = Value
Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load Const Pi As Single=3.142 Const Temp As Single=37 Const Score As Single=100 End Sub